In What World is Game of Thrones' Peter Dinklage a Supporting Actor?

A dwarf is the leading man on one of the most popular shows on television. When will the Academy recognize this?

by Reed W. Solomon on July 11th, 2014, 8:07 pm PDT. This Ivia has been viewed 5,105 times. Last improved on August 25th, 2014, 9:43 pm PDT.

Peter Dinklage is almost certainly what we would call a household name. The 44-year-old American actor plays the impetuous and, at least by the standards of Thrones, heroic main character Tyrion Lannister on the smash hit fantasy drama. 

And there can be little doubt that Tyrion is the main character. After the (Spoiler? still?) death-by-beheading of Sean Bean's Ned Stark in season one, Dinklage received top billing during the show's opening credits. He is the principal character in the plots occurring in the series' central location of King's Landing, and he leads all characters in total screentime. (shown below, via Buzzfeed:)

SOURCE: http://www.buzzfeed.com/kateaurthur/game-of-thrones-characters-screen-time-season-3

The nominations for 2014 were released yesterday. Dinklage was among three Game of Thrones performers tabbed, again for the "Supporting Actor in a Drama Series" category. He will be up against last year's winner, Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul, among others. The voting body, which has surely heard concerns about how performers are categorized, appears unwilling to switch an actor from supporting to lead designation during a show's run. 

This is a shame. Not only do fans want to see the awards make sense, but profiling a rising star like Dinklage as a leading man rather than a supporting actor would prime audiences to see him as a movie star, and help him be cast in starring roles in the future. More importantly, a nomination - and perhaps a win - would be another step forward for audiences accepting an atypical actor in a fairly conventional leading role, and it would be difficult to find a better person than Peter Dinklage to set that ball in motion.

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Reed W. Solomon
Petaluma, California, United States
Sonoma State University

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